The Gowlett still looks like a proper boozer, albeit an antique wood-panelled, minimalist boozer – which is something of an achievement round here. The clue to its popularity is in the dough-scented air as you approach. This place sells the best pizza for miles around. The floury bases, pleasingly thin, taste sensational, and a special mention must go to the nutty organic spelt version, for gluten-free people and those who just love spelt – try it for £1.50 more and a five-minute extra wait.
The delicacy of the base has many advantages: the toppings aren’t dominated by stodge, and you can justify piling on the extras for 50p a pop, since eating a whole pizza won’t leave you stuffed. We couldn’t resist the Gowlettini; few can, since it’s such a happy pile-up of goat’s cheese, prosciutto, pine nuts and rocket (for vegetarians, sunblush tomatoes replace the prosciutto). Our napolitana included tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and the egg on the fiorentina was fresh and firm.
‘Smoked in Peckham’ is the Gowlett’s in-house meat curing business, based in the cellar, so a platter of smoked meats and cheeses – made with free-range pork from local butcher William Rose and venison from a farm in Eridge, Kent – is a fine option for pizza refuseniks.